Unless you are an Arab, or someone who speaks Arabic very well and have lived in Saudi Arabia for a while, you might not be aware of the following facts and practices from Saudi Arabia and Wahhabi communities across the globe.
Even the majority of expatriates who live in Saudi Arabia, some of them for years, do not speak Arabic, have hardly any contact with the local population, and consequently know very little about what is really going on in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign reporters who want to report from Saudi Arabia are carefully selected. Friendly reporters are preferred. After they arrive in Saudi Arabia, they are accompanied by Saudi officials from the Ministry of Information. These reporters are shown what the Saudis want them to see.
First of all, Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, does not have a codified criminal law and modern courts do not exist. Usually it is a cleric or the police who pass verdicts against criminals. Besides, the King and his clan are the law. They rule whimsically, supported by Wahhabism, a stone-age Islamic version of Islam.
The daily Al Madeena reported on January 8, 2009, "The head of Najran’s city council (unelected) issued the following verdicts: A man who beat his wife until she died receives one and a half year prison sentence and 200 flogs. Two young men who stole a sheep receive a sentence of three years and 2,000 flogs."
A Saudi practicing Muslim does not shake hands with a woman. Touching her hand stirs his sexual lust and that is haram (sinful).
Also, a Saudi practicing Muslim never uses his left hand to eat, drink, or give somebody something with it. It is unhygienic. He uses it to wash his buttocks after defecating.
Women in Saudi Arabia must veil themselves from head to toe in public. Also, a woman must be accompanied by a close relative in public, otherwise she is branded as a prostitute and very often is snapped by the Mutawas (Morality police) and detained. Saudi women are forced to wear a niqab (face veil).
Further, a Saudi woman is not allowed to perform any public transaction: economic, financial, or administrative, without the approval of a male relative – husband, father, or brother.
The Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan, head of the Supreme Judiciary Council, told Al Watan Daily, (December 2, 2008) "Women who are raped by men are themselves to blame. They provoke men by the way they dress or walk."
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where men can marry several women or divorce them in their absence. All a man needs to marry a woman is the two witnesses of his choice. To divorce a woman, he simply needs to go to the highest religious authority in his district. For more details, check out the book Karin in Saudi Arabia.
Almost every Saudi household has at least one maid from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and India. The majority of them are cheap labor and are often abused sexually by their male employers. They are forced to work for 24 hours, seven days a week for meager $60-$70 a month. Many of them never see any money for years. After that, or after getting pregnant, they are deported to their home countries.
Prince Salman, the Governor of Riyadh, told Al Madeena Daily (November 20, 2008), "It is a minority that abuse housemaids." This, however, contradicts the latest report of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, (2008), which says that over 80% of Saudi families abuse maids and treat them like slaves.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that teaches hatred, violence, and bigotry against non-Muslims at its schools. School textbooks are filed with texts that are politically and socially incorrect. Even mathematics books teach these things. Here is a Saudi school quiz: 19 Muslims kill 2,979 infidels (with reference to 9/11). How many did each of them kill? Check out "Saudi Textbooks Incite to Hatred and Violence."
The same books are printed and funded by Saudis for schools in Pakistan, Indonesia, and madrassas in Deoband (in India) and elsewhere.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that does not allow followers of other faiths to have their own temples. Even wearing the Christian cross in a necklace is forbidden. Its owner may be charged with proselytizing and could face flogging or deportation. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has funded the erection of mosques all over the world, and spends billion of dollars on Islamic centers across the world.
For example, King Fahd Academy, which was funded and opened in Bonn, Germany in 1995 and cost $20 million, was recently closed because it was teaching violence and hatred by staff from Saudi Arabia. However, the "House of Islam" near Frankfurt, which is also funded by the Saudis, is still teaching a Saudi curriculum.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that obliges non-Muslim women who marry a Muslim man to first convert to Islam. Muslim women are not allowed at all to marry a non-Muslim, unless he also converts to Islam.
Where on earth would the police prevent rescuing school girls who were caught by fire because they were not covered by their own clothes from head to toe? In Mecca, July 2002, the Saudi morality police blocked rescuing girls whose school was in flames. And why? The girls could be photographed "half-naked."
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that enforces gender apartheid in all walks of life.
Saudi TV teaches children to hate the Jews. On a program for children (October 12, 2008), the presenter of the program asked a seven-year old girl if she hates the Jews. The girl, veiled from head to toe, said, "Yes, I do." "Why?" The girl said, "Because the Jews fought our prophet Muhammad. Even Allah hates them."
Interests on money are also haram (sinful) in Islam. It is riba (usury). To bypass this, the so-called Islamic banks use the word murabaha (shared profit). In practice, it is the same as ordinary interests, but it is packed in a harmless Islamic term. Check out "Conservative Muslims and Die Hard Socialists Feel Vindicated by the International Financial Crisis."Saudi Arabia has the highest military expenditures in the Middle East. According to United States‘ Central Intelligence Agency‘s World Factbook, Saudi Arabia spent $ 31,050,000,000 on arms purchase in 2008. Israel, the mightiest military power in the Middle East, on the other hand, spent $13,300,000,000.
Luckily, Saudi Arabia does not use its military arsenal to fight Israel – not because it does not want to do so, but because it does not have the qualified manpower. Military experts believe the weapons remain unpacked and rust in the desert. With its generous military purchases, the Saudi regime pleases the arms industry in the West, which in return rallies support for the Saudi regime among influential Western politicians.
As a corruption case was disclosed, related to an arms deal (of $20 billion) for Saudi Arabia in which Bandar, the son of the Saudi Crown Prince Sultan was implicated, Tony Blair did everything possible to cover up the case, namely, "for national interests." Check out BBC for more details.
Saudi Fatwas (religious edicts):
Ali Al Khudhair, a Saudi Imam in Riyadh approved of telling lies if that helps advancing Islam in a Friday preach (April 4, 2008).
The imam of Mecca, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais said on June 6, 2008, "Perfume is forbidden in Islam. Neither men nor women should use it. Perfume attracts the devil that makes you commit sins."
Abullah Al Najdi, another Saudi imam, told Al Riyadh Daily (July 14, 2008), "Football is haram, (sinful) in Islam. It is an infidels’ fad. Fighting for a ball and later celebrating a victory is senseless."
According to the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia, the voice of a woman is also a sexual organ. She is not allowed to talk directly to non-relative males. Therefore, when a woman calls the Saudi radio to take part in a talk show, she is not dialogued by a man, but by a woman.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan also promulgated that "learning a language other than Arabic, the language of the holy Koran, is un-Islamic. It is an insult to our religion. It is obvious that those children who learn English, for example, grow up liking non-Muslims, and this is a grave mistake. You know that we should minimize our contacts with non-Muslims to the lowest limit possible. That is what our Prophet, peace be upon him, and the holy Koran teach us."
Sheikh Saleh Al Fozan, another Saudi influential cleric has said on different occasions that it is haram (sinful) for a Muslim to visit an infidel country, for any reason. "These countries are decadent and filled with devils which seduce men and women." He said this on Saudi TV (June 6, 2008).
At any rate, some Saudi families spend their vacations in Arab countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria – especially in the summer, fleeing the heat of their own country. Women usually go shopping, and men sit down in cafes and gaze at women. Interest in culture does not exist.
The majority of Saudi men who travel to the West spend most of their time and money on chasing prostitutes.
According to the majority of Saudi clerics, music, dancing, and poetry are haram (sinful). The only book Muslims must read is the Koran. And the only "music" they must listen to is recitations of the Koran.
A hatred-inciting education system and lack of contact with the secular world in terms of books and culture have generated a fanatic population. The majority of Saudi dissidents are more fanatic than the Al Saud regime. There are very few secular Saudi dissidents, like Ali Alyami, Ali Al Ahemd, and Mai Al Yamani.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that applies the Sharia law – a combination of Koran and Hadeeth – as long as it suits the regime. It must be stressed here that the Sharia law is a repressive, hate- and violence-inciting, and discriminatory doctrine. For more details, click here. All that being said, we should not wonder that 15 of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. To add insult to injury, the Saudi regime calls for interfaith dialogues with Christian and Jewish leaders. Check out: "Saudis Call for Interfaith Dialogue is Hypocritical."
Sadly, and despite all the above and because of oil and Saudi Arabia’s geo-political significance during the Cold War and thereafter, the West has supported this country and still supports it.
While the West does not miss any opportunity to blast the abysmal human rights records of China, Russia, North Korea, and Zimbabwe, it ignores the atrocious human rights record of Saudi Arabia.
If Saudi Arabia did no have so much oil, the world community would perhaps ignore it like it ignores Somalia. But the regime in Riyadh cannot be ignored. It is filthy rich and dangerous. The Al Saud clan, for decades now, has funded and is still funding Islamic fanaticism across the globe.
The war on terror does not make sense in its present state and will remain futile unless the West combats the root causes of terrorism, namely, Saudi Arabia. The West is fighting the tip of the iceberg.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. Before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University.